Quietly, so he won't wake her. Careful, so she won't stir. The blue dusk sleeps with her, steady and slow.

He watches because he can. Because he knows twenty years from now, or maybe even tomorrow morning, one of them might be dead, and the bed left cold as grave-stone. He knows because this is the only moment that will last for now, and the next moment won't be the same (another story to be told, his words removed). No other will capture the same still, the same hush; no other will capture this feeling settled deep inside his chest (warm, safe, blue, secret), beautifully undefined. It will not be there while he's killing a little boy and trying not to hear his screams, or feeling blood in his white-stained eyes and trying not to see it.

He watches because it heals him, inside these haunted doorways. Beside her, so close, he can imagine her hands against his face, on his skin; he can imagine the touch too gentle to be felt, too light to be real (but he wants to believe, yes he does). He will let himself imagine her soft hair against his cheek this moment (this moment only), he will let himself wish and dream and yearn. But only for this moment; that is the oath he has sworn.

He watches so she can dream his dreams. So he can clutch the anchor tight, embrace the sweet-musk heaviness; so he can give her everything he's always wanted (it's the only way). He hopes his gazes mean something now, against the smooth slope of her forehead, slipping down moonlit cheeks. The feelings he feels in this moment, the aching that flourishes inside, trapped in full bloom. Everything he conceals behind his dry, dry face and his dry, dry humor; everything he wants to show her is a lie, but can't.

The leaving is inevitable. The stand is painful, the departure another regret, soot on his lips. He reminds himself that dying is not an option: not if he wants to watch her, not if he wants to be healed, not if she is to dream his dreams.

He hates not saying good-bye. But good-bye is a curse on his tongue. Good-bye ends the moment, the feeling, the hope. Good-bye makes this place a place he can never return to, makes her a little more distant and unattainable. There is no more secret, blue, safe, warm. There is only cold, empty, shaken, shiver.

Quietly, so he won't wake her. Careful, so she won't stir. The blue dusk sleeps with her, and he won't be there anymore.

Because it's been forever, and I can't stand it anymore. ;; In an extremely critical state of my writing.